Trains Restart as U.S. Northeast Fights Back From StormAnnie Linskey and Jim Efstathiou Jr.
Commuters from Boston to New York were urged to be patient and allow extra travel time today as transportation officials reboot transit systems shut down by a record-setting blizzard.
“I know that people are impatient, but I remind everybody that this was a record snowfall, the likes of which our state has never seen, or had not seen since the 1880s,” Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said yesterday at a news briefing.
Transit officials across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island were forecasting a return to almost full service after crews dug out tracks and bus routes blanketed by as much as three feet of snow that began falling Feb. 8.
New York’s Metro-North Railroad was to have regular operations between Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut, with a reduced schedule beyond to New Haven. Service on much of the Long Island Rail Road was to resume except in eastern areas hard-hit by the snowstorm. New York City subways and buses were to operate on a normal weekday schedule. Amtrak returned to limited operations between New York and Boston yesterday.
In Massachusetts, “I think we will be able to get the subways and the commuter rails running” by today’s morning commute, Governor Deval Patrick said in an interview broadcast by CBS. Some subway and bus lines in and around Boston were running yesterday.
In Long Island, where parts of Suffolk County received more than 30 inches of snow, LIRR trains were suspended east of Speonk and east of Ronkonkoma to Greenport, according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority statement. Buses will run between Ronkonkoma and Greenport only if roads have been cleared, and there will be no busing on the Montauk Branch.
“Those are the exceptions,” said Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the service. “Those sections that are not running represent a fair amount of land mass, but you have to remember the bulk of the riding public is west,” or closer to New York City.
Bus service on the Suffolk County Transit system was to operate normally today, according to the agency’s website.
All New Jersey Transit bus and rail service was restored Feb. 9, according to the agency’s website.
In Boston, while some lanes on main roads remained snow-covered yesterday, other routes were clear.
“Major thoroughfares are in great shape,” Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said yesterday in an interview with Fox News.
“By first thing on Monday morning, the commute, if you are driving, is probably not going to be hampered that much,” Judge said.
Boston’s public schools will have another day off, said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who ordered schools shut on Feb. 8 as the storm approached. Four daycare centers would be open for the children of parents who have to work, he said yesterday.
Not everyone was worried about the workweek. Lisa Taffe, 35, was enjoying yesterday’s sunny, snowy morning in Boston by sledding with her family.
“This is the kind of day that you want every winter day to be,” she said. “Perfect, gorgeous, tons of snow.”
“I’m not going to worry about tomorrow,” said Taffe, holding a six-month-old baby swaddled in a bright orange down jumper. “There is nothing you can do about it.”
The storm, which lasted about 24 hours in Boston, left as much as 40 inches (102 centimeters) of snow in parts of Connecticut and more than 30 inches in some Massachusetts communities. It set a new record in Portland, Maine.